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“CLIMATE OF HOPE: CITIZENS CAN SAVE THE PLANET, (St. Martin’s Press)” is the title of former NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s new tome, that notes: “Factors will force the poor to choose between safety or food on the table.”


In Casa Gallardo, there was a Ray Gallardo who expanded it into a chain and ran it for a number of years. Before he sold it, he opened one in Clayton. That’s where we imbibed. I commended him for the speedy mixologists and he commented, “Yes, they steal more than any other bartenders in St. Louis.”
At the Chase Club in the hotel, there was manager Henry “Hack” Ulrich. Hack enjoyed regaling guests with a reminiscence of Frank Sinatra’s no-show for his engagement. It seemed that Sinatra cancelled the morning following a spat with his gf Ava Gardner, who beat him with a shoe. Upon hearing that, Hack phoned Morris Shenker, who in turn, called his client Jimmy Hoffa. After a conversation with Hoffa, Sinatra agreed to return to complete the engagement, which he did.
The original Tony’s on Broadway was where you could count on gingham tablecloths and chianti wine bottles. Nearby was Al Barone’s Al’s steakhouse. At the Rahtskellar in the original Lenox Hotel on Washington Avenue, steaks were prepared before your eyes. Also, owner Gordon Heiss created the Mayfair salad dressing – still in use today.  Port St. Louis (seafood house) in Clayton was where servers vowed that they were to employ used seafood shells over and over.
AH, MEMORIES of other dineries that would make present eateries pale in comparison. Such was Ruggeri’s on the Hill where organist Stan Kann entertained; Kotabuki, Myron Levy’s outpost on Gaslight Square that purveyed Japanese specialities he learned while serving in Jimmy Doolittle’s Flying Tigers in World War II; Teutenberg’s marvelous bakery goods and sandwiches; Fio’s La Forquette at West County Mall; Minna Evans’ Gold Fried Chicken Loaf; Mrs. Yoest’s Hitching Post and Sam Zwibleman’s Sam the Watermelon Man.


Ex-banker Shaun Hayes, out on parole, has been arrested for violation of the pre-trial release conditions. He was originally indicted for bank fraud in April, 2016 by the office of the U.S. Attorney of Eastern Dist. of Missouri.


MO ATTORNEY GENERAL JOSH HAWLEY has recused himself and his office from the Trinity Lutheran case since he has performed work as a private attorney
supporting Trinity Lutheran.


U.S. DIST. JUDGE CATHERINE D. PERRY has sentenced St. Louisans Charles Johnson and Shayne Kier to 141 months each for their involvement in the April 16 armed robbery of a Dunbar Armored Truck.
APPARENTLY IMPERVIOUS TO HISTORY, on the 25th anniversary of the infamous Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Donald Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions seeks to roll back many Justice Department consent decrees with troubled police departments. Sessions, meanwhile admits he hasn’t read the agreement between the DOJ and Ferguson police.


While the Metro brass is trying to find a way to secure riders, how about some housekeeping for the elevator in Clayton’s Shaw Garage? On a recent day, you could hear a telemarketer over the speaker offering trips to Florida from the emergency phone, still on the hook and inside the control panel on the elevator.
MISSOURI DEPT. OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: Unemployment rate decreased to 3.9 percent in March – lowest since September, 2000.
THE GLORY DAYS OF PRINT MEDIA MAY BE OVER IN THE AGE OF “FAKE NEWS.” Now media brands have turned to advertising.  The New York Times: “TRUTH. It’s more important now more than ever.”


President Trump took a shot at the Dems on twitter today touting a book titled, “Reasons to Vote for Democrats,” which contains 250 blank pages. . .rue21 fashion stores is closing shops in Maplewood, Fenton, Creve Coeur and Washington, MO. . .American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has taken billboards in English, Spanish and Arabic: “We The People,” referring to the Constitution protection of every individual’s right to freedom of speech and religion “no matter what Trump says”. . .Clayton native son and actor Kevin Kline has gotten rave reviews for his Broadway starring role in Noel Coward’s “Present Laughter.” New York Times: “Let us give thanks for Kevin Kline. Combining the calculated haplessness of Charlie Chaplin and the swashbuckling brio of Douglas Fairbanks, Kevin Kline reminds us once more what a physical comedian he is in this bouncy and boisterous new revival.” The Hollywood Reporter: “Kevin Kline brings down the house.” The Wall Street Journal: “Kevin Kline’s performance is a comedic triumph.”


HOW COME WE DON’T HAVE CHARACTERS around anymore? Well, we probably do, and I hope we don’t forget them. Gave them plenty of ink, and they soaked it up. But the more you knew about them the more pathetic they became – making millionaires laugh – and then, after they had their laugh, being shoved to the last table in the place to eat alone. They were sad enough to break your heart. There were Gus Torregrosso, Steve Mizerany, Harry Fender and Charlotte Peters.  There were Fannie Fishman,  Andy Singer and Sherlock Feldman who operated gambling dens on Delmar Boulevard. They were the last of the City-wide characters, and they worked hard at it. We wrote them off and could tell at a glance whether their complex was Napoleonic, Narcissistic, Oedipal, edible or soluble in straight whiskey.
SEEKING THE CITY WITH A MAGNIFICENT PAST.  There was a sense of belonging that permeated the city. We had pioneers in their respective fields who created for the ages. Among them: banker I.E. Long,  J.S. McDonnell and David Lewis (aircraft); Arthur Compton (atomic research); George Capps (developer/automotive); John Olin (munitions); Fannie Hurst and T.S. Eliot (literature); Sister Rose Duchesne (education); Charles Grigg (Seven-Up); Jim Howe (Tums) and John Meyenberg (Pet Co.) Class and style sans pinky rings and flashy clothes.
APRIL 16 IN HISTORY:  1724, Easter first observed; 1978, Cards’ Bob Forsch no-hits Phillies 5-0; 1987, August Wilson’s “Fences” won the Pulitzer Prize; 1991, St. Louis Blues became the 8th NHL team in play-off to come back from 3-1 deficit as the team beat the Detroit  Red Wings 3-2 in game 7.


The late Tony Peluso managed the Fox Theater for 36 years. As a youngster he was a golf caddy for Harry Arhur, patriarch of Arthur Enterprises. Many of our townfolk worked under Peluso as ushers and concession stand salespersons.  Tony died in 1993 and was survived by his wife and son, Mary and Doug Peluso, who live in University City.  On April 17, Mary turns 100 years-old, cooks daily and remains a homemaker.
THE DEATHS OF TWO LOCAL TITANS have been noted in The New York Times this week. Just-retired Post Dispatch scribe Tim O’Neil reported on Chuck Berry’s memorial service and Sam Roberts wrote an obit about author Patricia McKissack.
JAMES JOSEPH “Jim” Wisniewski, a native of Salem, IL., passed away last month in Atlanta, GA. In 2008, he won the first-ever civil trial against a Belleville predator priest and the church officials who ignored and hid the crimes. Jurors gave Wisniewski $5 million for his suffering. The cleric, Fr. Raymond Kownacki, didn’t attend the trial and has since passed away. Because of reported appeals by Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton, interest on the jury award accumulated and Wisniewski and his attorney, Mike Weilmuenster, were eventually paid $6 million.


TRUMP MODEL , FOUNDED BY THE TRUMP ORGANIZATION, GONE. . .New Yorker magazine focusing on a major story on President Trump’s mentor Roy Cohn. . .Ford has begun launching a crib that can simulate a car ride to lull the babe to sleep. . .Home Depot it posting revenue of $5 billion just from online orders. . .For Easter, our state’s native son Rush Limbaugh is being accused of ordering a turkey with two righr wings. . .Townies still grieve for the passing of Chuck Berry of whom Bob Dylan referred to as “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n roll”. . .Broadcast pitchman Thom Lewis’s death has triggered those of a certain age in recalling the products to which he was linked. In those early days there were builders and consumer products who left footprints on our town.
There were Campagna (the Montclair and Frontenac on KIngshighway Blvd.; Leon Strauss;  Fred Kummer, Fred Weber (Thomas Dunne, Sr.); Micelli Homes; Tom Shaw; Sverdrup; Deutch family (Oxford and Linn Capri); Baudendistel structures; Zeckendorf (Hampton Village); Taylor Morley and Taylor Hitt. Today we have powerhouse commercial builders: Alberici;  Paric and Brinkmann. There were bankers Don Lasater (Mercantile Bank); Leo Fisher (Bank of St. Louis); David Calhoun (St. Louis Union Trust); Adam Aronson (Mark Twain Banks); S. Lee Kling (Landmark Banks) Don Brandin (Boatmens Banks).

APRIL 14 IN HISTORY: 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot at Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth; 1902, Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium; 1917, Chicago White Sox’s Ed Cicotte’s no-hits St. Louis Browns 11-0; 1939, John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath” was published; 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed the Social Security rescue for $165 billion.


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